Iced tea is a great anti-aging summertime drink.Sure, you've heard all about New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's plan to ban supersize sugary drinks. But we'll bet you're not cooling off this summer with Big Gulps of Mountain Dew anyway. Here's some good news: Iced tea -- that beloved summertime sipper -- has some awesome anti-aging benefits. Any type of brew will do.
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If you want to whittle your waist this summer, pour a nice, tall glass of iced green tea. Researchers say the tea's caffeine and antioxidants called catechins help rev up the body's metabolism to melt belly fat. Some research suggests catechins also help curb appetite. You'll need to sip a lot, though -- roughly 7 cups a day -- to reap this benefit. But all that green tea is good for your brain, too. It contains the amino acid theanine, which helps fine-tune mental focus.
Want to look younger this summer? Make a pitcher of iced white tea. It has anti-aging anti-inflammatory properties that help slow the breakdown of collagen and elastin fibers, which helps your skin stay firm. But even if you sip white tea, don't forget to slather on the sunscreen.
Battling high blood pressure? Make iced hibiscus tea your go-to summer drink. It's loaded with flavonoids and polyphenols. One study found drinking 3 cups of hibiscus tea a day for six weeks can help lower systolic blood pressure by an average of 7 points in people with prehypertension or mildly elevated blood pressure. We recommend keeping your blood pressure to 110/70 Hg for optimal health.
Are you a fan of old-fashioned orange pekoe? Turns out, black tea has great anti-aging benefits, too. It contains compounds called polysaccharides that stabilize blood sugar to help prevent or manage diabetes. Black tea also helps fend off Parkinson's disease.
Whatever you pour, skip the sugar (Mayor Bloomberg would approve!). Instead, give your iced tea an extra health boost with a squeeze of lemon. The vitamin C in the lemon will help your body absorb the tea's antioxidants -- whichever brew you choose.
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